With the SXSW 2019 Music Festival only a few short months away, you’ve probably had a chance to check out our latest music announcement featuring 240+ Showcasing Artists including Deerhunter, Mr. Eazi and more. If you aren’t already feeling the SXSW jitters after our first two artist announcements, stay tuned to our social channels for more announcements coming soon.
Even though you’ll have an action-packed schedule during the event, it’s important to remember part of the reason you decided to come (or convinced someone to send you) to SXSW in the first place; to explore the incredible city of Austin.
Your trip to Austin wouldn’t be complete without the memories of kayaking through downtown between artist showcases, finding the greatest food truck of all time, or an afternoon spent basking in the sun at a Texas watering hole.
After sitting down and chatting with a few of our SXSW Music Festival Programmers, we’ve determined the most necessary things to cross off your Austin list while in town for SXSW 2019:
Shopping, Breakfast Tacos, & More
Cross the river on Congress Avenue to find the walkable South Congress district, with its cafes, shops, restaurants, and iconic Austin landmarks such as the “I Love You So Much” mural. It’s perfect if you want to get away from downtown but don’t want to stray too far from the action.
Enjoy Austin’s Art Collection
The SXSW Art Program curates some great forward-thinking exhibits each year, but you may want to get away from the fest for a bit to clear your mind. If so, we recommend checking out the Blanton Museum of Art on the University of Texas campus. The museum features everything from classical European paintings to modern sculptures and installations.
Views of the City and the Texas Hill Country
Mt. Bonnell may not be as close as our other suggestions, but the views are excellent. If you are arriving before the festival begins or staying a bit after it ends, take the time to head up to Mt. Bonnell to see a sunrise/sunset. Alongside the Lake Austin portion of the Colorado River, the vista on Mt. Bonnell has been a popular tourist destination since the 1850s with a great view of the city of Austin, Lake Austin, and the surrounding hills.
Kayak like an Austinite
Experience Austin from the comfort of your very own kayak. Explore Lady Bird Lake and paddle underneath the many bridges that connect downtown Austin. There are several kayak rental spots around the city — just head to the water and embark on your journey.
Fall in Love with the Lone Star State
Head north from the action on Congress Street to check out our state Capitol building. The lawn is perfect for resting your legs away from the pavement and admiring the largest U.S. State Capitol.
Zone Out at Zilker and Barton Springs
Take a break from downtown and spend some time during an afternoon at Zilker Park and Barton Springs. Lay back in the grass at Zilker Park and enjoy over 350 acres of publicly-owned land overlooking the Austin Skyline. After getting some sun, walk a few minutes south towards Barton Springs Pool and jump in. This historic natural spring is the fourth largest in Texas and has been used by locals since 1837. No matter when you jump in, the water stays nice at a constant 74 °F.
Historic Austin Music Venues You Have to Catch a Showcase At
While bouncing around showcases during the SXSW Music Festival, be sure to leave time in your schedule to catch a showcase at one of the following iconic Austin venues; St. David’s historic sanctuary, Hotel Vegas, Continental Club, Cheer Up Charlies, or The Main / Main II, also known as Old Emo’s and only open each year during SXSW.
Find the Perfect Instagram Backdrop For Your Band
Anywhere you wander in Austin, you’re bound to find unique graffiti. But there are a few iconic hot spots to check out while you’re in town. Swing by Hope Outdoor Gallery, also known as Graffiti Park at Castle Hill on the west side of downtown. This multi-level graffiti park is free to the public and participatory. Snap a cool photo and leave your mark on Austin with your own spray paint work of art. Afterwards, continue south on South Lamar and walk on the pedestrian bridge across Lake Austin. Enjoy a breathtaking view of the city complete with the Austin Graffiti Bridge in the background. The railroad bridge features inspirational graffiti paintings overlooking the Austin skyline.
We hope you enjoy our list and that you can make use of it this March! Join us at the 2019 SXSW Music Festival for performances by iconic artists, make professional connections, elevate their musical careers, and discover the next wave of musical talent. With a SXSW Music Badge, enjoy primary access to all showcases, Music and Convergence Tracks at the SXSW Conference, and Comedy Festival Showcases and Events as well as secondary access to Film programming and Interactive Tracks, Keynotes, and Featured Speakers.